The cholesterol is a type of lipid or fat, which is found in the body tissue and blood plasma of vertebrate animals. In itself it is not a bad substance, although it is usually associated immediately with something negative.
It is a very important component of the plasma membranes of animals and is a precursor (cells that by natural processes give rise to other cells) of elements, such as vitamin D , the sex hormones and the bile salts .
The word cholesterol has a negative connotation; It is generally used to refer to low density lipoproteins (LDL ), which are responsible for cholesterol reaching the cells through the blood supply.
When there is an excess of lipoproteins low density (LDL ), cholesterol can accumulate in the arteries, making it difficult for oxygen to travel through the blood, which increases the risk of heart and brain problems. Hence, low density lipoproteins (LDL ) are known as bad cholesterol.
In addition to the LDL , there are high density lipoproteins (HDL ) which are those that transport cholesterol from the tissues of the body to the liver. Because the HDL can remove cholesterol from arteries and transport it back to the liver for evacuation, they are known as good cholesterol or good lipoprotein.
The high concentrations of HDL have a protective character against cardiovascular diseases, while low concentrations of HDL they represent an increased risk of these diseases.
The ideal is to have a yearly check of the levels of cholesterol , through a simple blood test. The values that are currently considered normal for cholesterol are the following:
Good cholesterol-HDL: more than 35 mg / dl (milligrams per deciliter in blood)
Bad cholesterol-LDL: less than 150 mg / dl.
Total cholesterol (LDL, HDL and other lipoproteins): less than 200 mg / dl.
In case the level of total cholesterol or bad cholesterol is very high, you should go to the doctor who will surely indicate a diet.